Sunday 18 October 2009

More whales in our waters, more whales in shark nets

In only six weeks, five humpback whales have been caught by shark nets set in the inshore waters of the Gold Coast. The most recent, a seven metre juvenile, became entangled in the Burleigh Beach net on 13 October.

Fortunately, the whale was freed, but only after an hour of dangerous work in rough sea conditions by trained personnel from the Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol and Sea World rescue teams.

There are 22 shark nets deployed along Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast beaches. With the humpback whale population rising as it recovers from the devastating effects of whaling, entanglement in south-east Queensland waters is almost certain to increase unless action is taken.

Meanwhile the nets, that are also in place at Cairns, Mackay and Rainbow Beach, continue to ensnare other marine life as well, including 25 to 30 dolphins annually.

Anyone who observes animals trapped or in danger of becoming trapped in shark nets or drum lines should call the Shark Hotline 1800 806 891. 


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